BARTable by bike: San Leandro Marina

Marina Park in San Leandro. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Editor's note: BART is currently running reduced service for essential travel. We are dispatching long trains even though ridership has been significantly reduced. We are doing this to ensure our riders can properly socially distance from one another. If you plan to ride BART, see our feature, Tips for riding BART during COVID-19.

Before heading out, make sure you understand local requirements on social distancing and wearing a mask. Alameda County and San Francisco city health officials require residents to wear face coverings any time they leave home and get within 30 feet of anyone not living in their household. If you need a mask, check out our feature, Bay Area businesses selling masks during COVID-19

Difficulty

• Short and long route: beginner

Terrain

• Short route: flat pavement, about 8 miles total
• Long route: flat pavement and gravel, about 22 miles total

Cautions

• Be careful crossing the railroad tracks on Alvarado and Williams Streets. Always make sure your bike is perpendicular to the tracks before crossing to ensure your wheels do not get caught in the gaps between the rails.
If you are planning on riding the long route to the San Mateo Bridge, make sure you are comfortable riding on gravel and that your bike can handle it.

Introduction

We're taking you on another adventure - this time showing you how to bridge the gap between San Leandro and the natural landscape of the Bay Area. The whole family can enjoy this easy out-and-back bike trip to San Leandro's Marina Park. From there, if your legs are feeling good, head south through the mudflats and salt marshes all the way to the San Mateo Bridge in Hayward.

What to bring

Comfortable riding shoes, helmet, water bottles, sun protection (hat, sunscreen), extra layers or rain gear (just in case). A smartphone is handy for maps and looking up information or taking photos. And, of course, your Clipper card. Make sure to download the Ride with GPS app so you can easily reference the route.

How to get there

Marina Park is about a 16-minute bicycle ride from the San Leandro Station. Take Alvarado St to Williams St and follow it toward the shoreline for two miles. Then, a left turn on Neptune Dr and a right on Monarch Bay Dr will lead you right to the park, where you can feel the bay breeze greet sailboats in the dock.

Short route

Long route

Highlights of the ride

"Truth is Beauty"

At the beginning of the ride, take a minute to admire the 55-foot tall "Truth is Beauty" statue. Located right next to the San Leandro BART Station, “Truth is Beauty” is a shining icon of San Leandro and specifically the San Leandro Tech Campus. It sparkles in the daylight as the sky peeks through and reflects off the stainless-steel grid work that defines her form. See our feature, The sky's the limit for "Truth is Beauty" for more information.

The "Truth is Beauty" statue is adjacent to San Leandro Station. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Local food and drink

On the way to the water, you'll pass Drake's Brewing Co. and 21st Amendment Brewery, which are both great spots to grab a beer and some food after the ride.

Marina Park

The very center of Marina Park features a long stretch of grass usually occupied by soccer players and picnickers, and there are barbeque areas on its perimeter where local families gather on weekends. These areas, along with a playground, can be a great place for a fun break. 

Marina Park is a beautiful spot to have a picnic and relax. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Exercise stations

For an extra workout, the Faro Point peninsula is lined with small exercise stations. At the end of the peninsula there are pull-up bars where you can challenge your family or friends to a pull-up contest.

Get a full body workout at the peninsula's exercise stations. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.
 
The trail around the perimeter of the peninsula is exactly one mile long. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Faro Point peninsula loop

There is a paved trail that wraps around the perimeter of the peninsula, completing a one-mile loop. This path is on the edge of the water, which provides a comfortable breeze and calming feel of the waves colliding at high tide while you ride (also a magnificent place to view the sunset)! Popular with walkers and cyclists alike, enjoy great views of Mulford Point just across the water, and the San Francisco skyline and hills in the distance.

Marina Dog Park

Stretching south, a mural of a whale across a small bridge marks the beginning of the dog park where local pups come to play.

Can you spot the airplane coming into Oakland International Airport (OAK)? Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.
 
Continuing south, the trail turns to gravel and the crowds thin out. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Natural landscape

Accompanying the bay view to the right, look to the left and find a stretch of the original landscape of the Bay Area — wetlands and mudflats that provide a home to native birds, the salt marsh harvest mouse, and its favorite snack: pickleweed.  

Mmm...salt. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Salt marshes

As you ride south, you'll notice a white crystalline substance mixed in with the water - yep, you guessed it: salt. The salt marsh is a critical part of San Francisco Bay. Salt marshes are very productive, providing habitat for hundreds of bird, fish and mammal species.

Continuing further south, you'll enter the City of Hayward as the San Mateo Bridge comes into closer view. Once you spot the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, you've reached the end of the trail and can head back the way you came.

Visit bart.gov/bikes to check BART’s bike rules, then strap on your helmet and get out there!

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